Harry Kane was on target again to earn Tottenham Hotspur a 1-1 draw at Liverpool on Saturday but the stalemate opens a path for Leicester City to forge seven points clear in the title race this weekend.
While Arsenal crushed Watford 4-0 and Manchester City hammered Bournemouth by the same score to breathe fresh life into their faint hopes, Leicester’s closest pursuers moved to within four points thanks to Kane’s predatory instincts.
After Philippe Coutinho had put Liverpool ahead soon after halftime in a vibrant contest, Kane conjured a brilliant strike out of very little to become the first Spurs player in the Premier League era to score 22 league goals in a season.
Leicester, who have played one game fewer, now have the chance to open a huge gap over Mauricio Pochettino’s side with just six matches left if they can beat Southampton at the King Power Stadium on Sunday.
Kane, who felt “very proud of a great achievement” after becoming Spurs’ highest scorer in any league season since Gary Lineker in 1991-92, said his team were “a tad disappointed” with the result.
“We will watch the Leicester game tomorrow and hope Southampton can get a result and do us a favour,” he told Sky Sports.
In the battle for Champions League football next season, not even another free kick masterpiece from Dimitri Payet could inspire fifth-placed West Ham United as they had Cheikhou Kouyate sent off in a 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace.
At the other end of the table, Aston Villa’s disillusioned fans made a long, loud protest as their side were humiliated 4-0 at home to Chelsea and now stand on the verge of relegation.
Newcastle United are hot favourites to join Villa in the Championship next season after going down 3-2 in a dramatic clash at fellow strugglers Norwich City who celebrated a 93rd-minute winner from Martin Olsson.
United’s north-east rivals Sunderland are also in deep trouble, four points adrift of safety after a goalless home draw with West Bromwich Albion.